Going for the Gold Allyson Felix
by Stephanie Struyck Elgin
Her stats alone say it all. She’s the current and three time 200m World Champion, five time United States 200m Champion, Olympic Gold Medalist in 2008, two time Olympic Silver medalist, first woman to win three consecutive 200m World Championships, high school national 200m world record holder, two time Samsung Diamond League Champion, not to mention she’s a member of President Obama’s Council for Fitness, Sports and Nutrition.
An already fully decorated track and field superstar, 26-year-old Santa Clarita resident Allyson Felix has her eyes set on an individual Olympic gold at the London 2012 Olympics. “I want to have a successful run at trials first,” states Allyson, “and my motivation is really just to do well on the 200m, ultimately getting another opportunity to race for a gold.”
Her speed and agility seem superhuman. Born and raised in Southern California, and daughter to a minister and teacher, Allyson didn’t discover her love for running until she joined her high school track team at Los Angeles Baptist High School in North Hills. She excelled on the team, taking home a California State Prep Championship not one or two times, but five times. She was also a three-time winner of the 100m and two time winner of the 200m.
Her love for running and success on the track didn’t stop after high school, and despite the fact that Allyson chose to sign a professional contract over a college scholarship, she continued her schooling at University of Southern California and graduated with a degree in elementary education, following in her mother’s footsteps. While most 18 year olds are focused on going away to college, work and study, Allyson was winning medals at the Olympics. Her first was a silver medal in the 200m at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece. “I still feel like the silver medal in 2004 was one of my most memorable and greatest achievements,” states Allyson. “It was awesome.”
The five foot six inch sprinter now sets her eyes on the gold. Allyson trains four to five hours a day, spending about two to three hours on the track, with about two hours in the gym. “Coach Kersee has been really great for me,” states Allyson. “I’m thankful for his wisdom, to learn from him and be trained under him.” Allyson is coached by Bobby Kersee, who is the husband and coach of Olympic champion, Jackie Joyner Kersee. Jackie Joyner Kersee is considered by many to be one of the best of the best all around female athletes. She won three Olympic gold medals, one silver and two bronze in four different events, and has since retired. “Jackie inspires me, and motivates me,” states Allyson. “She is my mentor in my career, and played a huge role in my life.”
Allyson’s strength and conditioning coach is Andre Woodert, who is also a sports performance director at Velocity in West Los Angeles. “Coach Andre is really smart, and utilizes our time to get all the strength and conditioning in that’s needed.”
The London 2012 Summer Olympics Games will begin July 27 and run through August 12. Over 10,000 athletes will be participating in over 300 events covering 26 sports. The main focus of the games will be at the new Olympic Park.
“I am determined,” states Allyson. “It felt good to win medals in the relay in previous Olympics, but I want another chance to race for the gold. To be successful, I think it’s a combination of things. You definitely have to be dedicated, and you have to sacrifice and push yourself beyond what you think you can do. Have fun, enjoy your journey, give it your all, and leave it all out there on the track.”
We wish you the best of luck at the Olympic Trials, Allyson!
For more information about Allyson or to see her upcoming schedule, visit www.allysonfelix.com.
For more Olympic information, visit www.NBCOlympics.com or www.TeamUSA.org.